Artisan development is a joint effort between government and the private sector. Learners obtain theoretical knowledge at TVET colleges, usually before they are employed.The three components of artisan development (theoretical training, practical training and workplace training) are funded from different sources.
National artisan moderation body processes
1. Career guidance and management
The implementation of an effective career guidance and management system for trade occupations is essential to ensure that persons wishing to become artisans, especially young people, fully understand the possibilities, scope and activities of artisans within industry.
Effective career guidance ensures that entrants will have made informed career choices and career management will facilitate progression to artisan status and beyond into technician and engineering related occupations.2. General or vocational or fundamental knowledge learning
Although artisan occupations are primarily focused on hand skills and practical ability, they are supported by a substantial amount of general or vocational or fundamental knowledge learnt through the basic schooling system or at a vocational college.3. Leaners agreement registration and contracting
The next step to becoming a qualified artisan is to find a workplace approved employer that will enter into learning programme agreement and contract with the learner after Step 2 have been completed successful.
The employer will apply an industry specific selection process prior to entering into an agreement and contract with learner, as the employer will want to ensure that the learners are fully suited to the industry in which they want to practice their trade.4. Occupational knowledge and practical learning
Specific trade occupational knowledge is contextualized within the learning process to specific tasks required such as fault finding, manufacturing repair, services, etc. The occupational trade knowledge may also have components of mathematics, science, drawing and technical language specific to the trade. Such knowledge is applied to the specific trade occupation as the learner learns and applies the knowledge daily in an integrated fashion.
The practical learning that accompanies the occupational knowledge learning contextualizes and applies the trade knowledge component to stimulated situations in practical setting in a training centre.5. Workplace learning
Real competence in any occupation depends on whether a person can apply and transfer learning at the workplace or across a variety of workplaces. Therefore, the most critical component of learning in artisan development is workplace learning.
During the workplace learning process the occupation knowledge and practical learning assimilated during the previous step are in the workplace. The artisan learner is exposed to real life situations within the workplace including all aspects of the artisan occupation such as work ethics, safety, responsibilities and quality performance of work required by industry.6. Trade testing and recognition of prior learning
Once the artisan learner has successfully completed the occupational knowledge, practical and workplace learning, the Skills Development Act requires a learner to undergo an external final summative assessment, known as Trade Test, before he/she can be certified as a qualified artisan, irrespective of the route or pathway of learning the learner utilized.
All trade testing in South Africa will in the near future be regulated by the National Trade Test Regulations issued under Section 26D(5) of the Skills Development Act that are applicable to all Trade Test Centres whether they operated by private, government or state owned companies.7. Assurance and certification
The current practice in South Africa, whereby a range of sector based trade certificates are issued has been phased out and development through the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB) under delegation from Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) will ensure that only national artisan trade certificates are issued. I would recommend that all artisans visit the website: www.nadsc.dhet.gov.za.